Suspect in fatal birthday stabbing to stand trial

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Court, gavel, trialSAN DIEGO — A 25-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing two men during a fight outside a Grantville restaurant where a birthday party was taking place must stand trial on two counts of murder, a judge ruled Monday.

Jim Duc Nguyen, who’s being held without bail, faces 107 years to life in prison if convicted in the deaths of Christopher Manzon, 25, and Ador Laus, 23.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Moon said a group gathered outside the Saigon Star restaurant on Friars Road about 12:25 a.m. on June 2, some of them drinking alcohol.

The restaurant manager asked Laus to ask the group to come back in, and Nguyen took offense, according to Moon, who alleged that an argument ensued and Nguyen fatally stabbed Manzon.

According to witnesses, Laus and Nguyen fought after confronting each other. During that fight, Laus  also was stabbed, and died a week later.

Sandra Truong testified during the preliminary hearing that she was outside talking with a girlfriend when she heard screaming and yelling between two groups of Filipino and Vietnamese men.

Truong said she tried to keep Manzon away from Nguyen, who was waving a knife by his side.

She said Manzon got around her and fought with the defendant.

“It was like a hug,” Truong said of the two men fighting.

Moments later, Manzon backed away, jumped up and down and yelled, “Oh damn,” realizing he had been stabbed, Truong testified.

She said she saw people on both sides with baseball bats, some hitting cars.

Judge John Einhorn ruled that enough evidence was presented for Nguyen to stand trial. A Superior Court arraignment was set for Jan. 7.